Organization | Purpose | Membership & Renewals |Directors | Bylaws | Financial Reports


AVISTA is a scholarly organization organized in 1984 through the urging of the late Jean Gimpel (author ofThe Medieval MachineThe Cathedral Builders, and other works on medieval art and technology) and with the support of Lynn White, Jr. (author of Medieval Technology and Social Change). The articles of incorporation were written in January 1985 and sponsored sessions began at Kalamazoo in 1986. The society serves as an organization to promote any and all medieval topics which relate to the practical sciences or technology. Our annual business meeting is held at the International Congress on Medieval Studies held at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, where each May we sponsor up to a half dozen sessions on various themes. A full list of the upcoming year’s sessions, as well as past years’ sessions, may be found in the conferences section of this web site. 

AVISTA is a 501(c)3 organization, and was granted that status in 1985. Our tax identification number is 23-2336217. The public may view our tax returns by using the IRS database Exempt Organizations Select Check.


The purpose of the organization is to study and make known works in art, architecture, and technology of the Middle Ages in honor of the medieval craftsman who worked in these fields. The members of AVISTA come from many different fields and countries, but all share a belief in the importance of reaching across boundaries. Interdisciplinary studies are central to AVISTA’s purpose. The members of AVISTA study, research, and teach in many different fields, including art, architecture, construction, engineering, forestry, geometry, literature, mathematics, medicine, metallurgy, military technology, numismatics, science, and the technology of everyday life.

Membership, Renewals, Gifts

Membership is open to any and all interested individuals. Payments support the AVISTA community, including operating costs, prizes and grants, publication subventions, and conference and event sponsorships. The membership rate for both domestic and overseas members is $20 for the calendar year. 

New members, as well as members needing to renew, may pay online via PayPal. You may also make donations online. 

Those who wish to pay by check in US dollars may make the payment out to AVISTA and mail payment to:

  • Sarah Thompson, AVISTA Treasurer
    School of Art
    College of Art and Design
    73 Lomb Memorial Drive
    Rochester, NY 14623-5603
  • E-Mail:

Membership inquiries may also be sent to the treasurer.

Members wishing to make gifts above their membership via check may add the the desired amount to their membership renewal. Send checks to the treasurer made out to AVISTA. Gifts are much appreciated and go to the support of AVISTA’s activities.  Consult your tax professional for advice on tax-deductible status.


The Board of Directors is composed of 12 members serving staggered 3-year terms. The executive committee consists of the President, one or two Vice Presidents, the Treasurer, Secretary, Publications Director, and two members of the Board of Directors.


AVISTA is run as a formal, not-for-profit organization, governed by a Board of Directors and and Executive Committee according to the bylaws herein given.

Financial reports

Treasurer’s reports may be found here.